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Experiment illustrates domestic violence double standard

Where Strategy Meets Skill

Multiple scientific studies conducted by reputable organizations have demonstrated that men can be victims of domestic violence, just as women can. The Crime Report cites data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that 37.2 million men in the United States, or approximately one-third, experience stalking, physical violence and/or sexual violence at the hands of a domestic partner during their lifetime. Nevertheless, despite these alarming statistics, we at Rechel & Associates have observed that people in Florida tend to take domestic violence against men less seriously compared to violence against women.

A 2017 experiment staged for television shows this double standard in sharp relief. A man and a woman staged a confrontation in a public park. For the first 90 minutes, the man behaved aggressively toward the woman, shouting verbal threats to hit her. Seven people stopped to offer the woman assistance during that 90-minute period. The first to stop intervened within a matter of seconds.

During the next 90-minute period, the man and the woman staged the same situation in the same place with the same script. The difference was that this time they switched roles. Instead, the woman was the aggressor, shouting threats of physical violence at the man. Some bystanders stopped to watch and take a video of the confrontation to post on social media, making comments that indicated that they found the situation amusing. However, over a period of 90 minutes, only one person stopped to offer help.

The prevailing attitude that it is comical when a woman commits violence against a man may make it difficult for an abused man to seek help. He may believe that the authorities will not take his complaint seriously. Nevertheless, no one deserves abuse, and help is increasingly available for all those who need it, male or female. More information about domestic violence is available on our website.

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